MOUNTAIN OF PRIDE

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OF WAR AND PRIDE

After the servants of David were disgraced by the king of Ammon there was war between them.  God had not given Ammon for Israel to occupy, but their king had returned an insult to David after a gesture of friendship.  David’s military leaders finished that war and another one with the Phillistines.

And it came to pass, that after the year was expired, at the time that kings go out to battle, Joab led forth the power of the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem. And Joab smote Rabbah, and destroyed it.  And David took the crown of their king from off his head, and found it to weigh a talent of gold, and there were precious stones in it; and it was set upon David’s head: and he brought also exceeding much spoil out of the city.  And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.  And it came to pass after this, that there arose war at Gezer with the Philistines; at which time Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Sippai, that was of the children of the giant: and they were subdued.  And there was war again with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, whose spear staff was like a weaver’s beam.    And yet again there was war at Gath, where was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were four and twenty, six on each hand, and six on each foot and he also was the son of the giant.  But when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea David’s brother slew him.  These were born unto the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.  1 Chronicles 20:1-7

The Philistines still had giants among them and a few other freakish mutants who could not help them in battle with Israel.  That is not a problem to Israel after the example of faith David demonstrated with Goliath.  We still need to remember that the world is influenced by the powers of the unseen spiritual realm.  An enemy is always looking for the area of our weakness to test our defenses.  The enemy is about to try a new approach.

And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.  And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it.  And Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?  Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Wherefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem.  And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword.  1 Chronicles 21:1-5

Is this a sin of pride to know the number of your armies?  Or is it possibly a lack of faith to trust in numbers instead of the promises of God?  If Satan was responsible, God allowed it as he had with Job.  God still had a plan to turn the events for good in the end.  Joab was aware that David’s request was not the right thing to do, but he was an obedient soldier up to a point.

But Levi and Benjamin counted he not among them: for the king’s word was abominable to Joab.  And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.  And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.  And the LORD spake unto Gad, David’s seer, saying,  Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.  1 Chronicles 21:6-10

In this account Joab has omitted part of the tribes from his count.  Was God displeased by his rebellion or by David’s fall into the temptation of pride?  David took the blame and God offers to let him chose the punishment.

So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee Either three years’ famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me.  And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.  So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.  1 Chronicles 21:11-14

David allowed God to make the choice, hoping for mercy instead of trusting his own thinking.  God chose to send disease among them as their sentence.  But true to his nature, God gave mercy to them.

And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.  And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.  And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.  1 Chronicles 21:15-17

When God sends a vision that David and these elders can actually see, it impresses them to submit themselves in obedience.  Any subtle communication from God still impresses us but the dramatic appearances command respect.  David intercedes for the people his error has condemned. 

Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.  And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD.  And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.  1 Chronicles 21:18-20

The actual instructions are spoken to the prophet Gad who David will obey.  If a king will submit to God and his messengers, a kingdom can prosper.  Not every world leader understands this.  Ornan also saw the angel and he hides his children out of fear.  Most angelic appearances require the angel to say “Fear not”, but fear is still needed here.  The fear of the Lord gives David wisdom here.

And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground.  Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people.  And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all.  And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.  So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.  1 Chronicles 21:21-25

David would not take advantage of his subject after being offered mercy by God.  His offering is made in the hope of gaining a full pardon for his people. 

And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.  And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.  At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.  For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon.  But David could not go before it to enquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD.  1 Chronicles 21:26-30

Seeing the angel was dramatic, but now the fire from heaven consumes the offering.  The sword of the plague is sheathed before David’s eyes.  David made offerings again in response to this mercy.  Ordinarily the Tabernacle was designated under the law as the only place to sacrifice.  Now God has designated a new location for sacrifice, and David is unable to return to the old site.  Thus the site of the Temple of Solomon is determined long before the first plans or cornerstone will be laid.  The subtle acts of God are more significant than the dramatic things in life. 

The temple was later destroyed by the Romans, scattering the Jews over the ancient world.  That dramatic act was impressive in a sad way too.  But dispersing the Jews also sent the seeds of Christianity all over the known world.  A destructive event came hand in hand with a path to life and mercy.

That threshing floor is now occupied by the Moslem Dome of the Rock, seemingly a barrier to restoring Jewish worship.  Many believe this temple site was the place God had designated for the test sacrifice of Isaac.  What an incredible focal point for the fury of our modern political and religious conflict.  Three variations on the faith of Abraham are focused on a single material contact point.  Watch for the Angel of the Lord to return soon!

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FATHERS AND SONS

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Early on January 19, 2012 I published a study about two sons.  Later that morning my father left his two sons after 95 years on this earth.  I served as a live in caregiver for a few years so now I will move on as Abraham did.  I have a father in heaven who will lead me to eternal life.  My father may not have found the fullness of relationship with our heavenly father, but he demonstrated fair treatment to the people in his life.  I will accept the assignment to share the eternal opportunity of life in Christ with whosoever is willing to come.  God will bring many brothers back together in his kingdom.  May we see you there when he raises us again to glory.

Clayton Luther, 95, passed away at home on 1/19/2012. A visitation will be at Bunker’s University Chapel, 3529 E. University Dr., Mesa, Monday 1/23/2012 from 6:00-8:00p.m. Clayton is survived by his sons John and David both of Michigan.
Visitations: 6:00PM to 8:00PM on Monday, January 23rd, 2012 at Bunker’s University Chapel
http://www.bunkerfuneral.com/ http://www.mapquest.com/maps?address=3529+E+University+Dr&city=Mesa&state=AZ&zipcode=85213
Bunker Family Funerals 3529 E University Dr Mesa, AZ 85213-8619

RAISING CAIN

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OCCUPYING THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL

Israel under David prospered in battle against the occupants of the Canaan land.  God promised them a place which they were given time to fully occupy.  David set about moving the occupants and challengers out. 

 Now after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath and her towns out of the hand of the Philistines.  And he smote Moab; and the Moabites became David’s servants, and brought gifts.  And David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah unto Hamath, as he went to stablish his dominion by the river Euphrates.  And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: David also houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them an hundred chariots.  And when the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadarezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men.  1 Chronicles 18:1-5

 The Phillistines were dispatched, but their name was preferred by the Romans later to define the area as Palestine.  Their descendants remain where Israel should not have allowed them to stay.  God gave them a chance and David did his part.  The Syrians try to help his enemies only to fall in the battle.  Israel claimed the spoils of battle that would  become a snare to a later king.

 Then David put garrisons in Syriadamascus; and the Syrians became David’s servants, and brought gifts.  Thus the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.  And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadarezer, and brought them to Jerusalem.  Likewise from Tibhath, and from Chun, cities of Hadarezer, brought David very much brass, wherewith Solomon made the brasen sea, and the pillars, and the vessels of brass.  Now when Tou king of Hamath heard how David had smitten all the host of Hadarezer king of Zobah;  He sent Hadoram his son to king David, to enquire of his welfare, and to congratulate him, because he had fought against Hadarezer, and smitten him; (for Hadarezer had war with Tou;) and with him all manner of vessels of gold and silver and brass.  Them also king David dedicated unto the LORD, with the silver and the gold that he brought from all these nations; from Edom, and from Moab, and from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines, and from Amalek.  1 Chronicles 18:6-11

 God gave victory and prosperity to David over the nations that worshipped false gods around them.  Israel continued to gain victories in the area.  Modern Arabs acknowledge Ishmael as their father after Abraham.  So Isaac is their brother.  My Lebanese friend asked why God would disown Ishmael the firstborn of Abraham.  Actually he promised to make a great nation of him, and he has.  But he chose Isaac to father the chosen race after his son Jacob.  Both Isaac and Ishmael would father nations but one is chosen to demonstrate the law for us.  Don’t be jealous Ishmael; the story is not finished yet.  Other nations in the area were at war with Israel too.

 Moreover Abishai the son of Zeruiah slew of the Edomites in the valley of salt eighteen thousand.  And he put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became David’s servants. Thus the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.  So David reigned over all Israel, and executed judgment and justice among all his people.  And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, recorder.  And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Abimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Shavsha was scribe;  And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and the sons of David were chief about the king.  1 Chronicles 18:12-17

 As leader of God’s chosen people, David got to be the boss of the nations around them.  His leadership team and his sons had honor in their service.  David executed justice by good judgment.  Modern nations struggle with this, and Israel demonstrates typical troubles among their own people today.  They could use a David today.

Thousands in Jerusalem protest racism against Ethiopian Israelis

Protesters march in front of the Knesset and hold signs which read, ‘Blacks and Whites – We’re all Equal’ and ‘Our Blood is Only Good for Wars.’

 Religious Israeli soldiers have found a new form of disobedience

When the regulations are not clear, the commanders give way to religion; many commanders feel it is better to give in than to get into trouble.

 Immigration Ministry withheld information about murders in Israel’s Ethiopian community

Ministry commissions study to understand circumstances leading to murders in the Ethiopian immigrant community in order to prevent them.

 http://www.haaretz.com/

Ishmael; God’s chosen people are human, and some all of them sin.  Don’t rush to be the chosen son until you see what it will cost.  Isaac’s oldest son Essau had the same problem you had because he too was not chosen by God.  Jacob was a rascal but God decided to turn him in the right direction to become a new man as Israel.  God can do that…He’s the boss.  Now his son David will have many enemies to deal with. 

Now it came to pass after this, that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon died, and his son reigned in his stead.  And David said, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father shewed kindness to me. And David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. So the servants of David came into the land of the children of Ammon to Hanun, to comfort him.  But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? are not his servants come unto thee for to search, and to overthrow, and to spy out the land?  Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved them, and cut off their garments in the midst hard by their buttocks, and sent them away.  Then there went certain, and told David how the men were served. And he sent to meet them: for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.  1 Chronicles 19:1-5

OK now David tried to offer kindness and was falsely accused of working for Satan…again.  Do you remember what the Holy Spirit thinks when he is working a kindness through one of his servants?  Ammon has since become modern Jordan, but it had another name in early Christian times.  The name was from the Greek word for…brotherly love.

In the 13th century BC Amman was called Rabbath Ammon or Rabat Amon by the Ammonites. In the Hebrew Bible, it is referred to as Rabbat ʿAmmon (Tiberian Hebrew Rabbaṯ ʿAmmôn). It was later conquered by the Assyrians, followed by the Persians, and then the Macedonians. Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the Macedonian ruler of Egypt, renamed it Philadelphia. The city became part of the Nabataean kingdom until 106 AD when Philadelphia came under Roman control and joined the Decapolis.[citation needed]

Philadelphia became the seat of a bishopric during the beginning of the Byzantine era. One of the churches of this period can be seen on the city’s Citadel. Philadelphia was renamed Amman during the Ghassanian era, and flourished under the Caliphates

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amman

So the city that would become known for brotherly love is showing a little different kind of love to David here.  Soon they noticed that they had screwed up.  Instead of an apology they prepared to use the Cain and Abel kind of brotherly love.  They hired some hit men.

And when the children of Ammon saw that they had made themselves odious to David, Hanun and the children of Ammon sent a thousand talents of silver to hire them chariots and horsemen out of Mesopotamia, and out of Syriamaachah, and out of Zobah.  So they hired thirty and two thousand chariots, and the king of Maachah and his people; who came and pitched before Medeba. And the children of Ammon gathered themselves together from their cities, and came to battle.  And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men.  And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array before the gate of the city: and the kings that were come were by themselves in the field.  Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him before and behind, he chose out of all the choice of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians.  And the rest of the people he delivered unto the hand of Abishai his brother, and they set themselves in array against the children of Ammon.  1 Chronicles 19:6-11 

David prepared two leaders to deal with the two enemy armies.  He is not going to be brother Abel, because he is able…to overcome.  The enemy tried to raise Cain but they couldn’t raise a big enough army. 

And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will help thee.  Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in his sight.  So Joab and the people that were with him drew nigh before the Syrians unto the battle; and they fled before him.  And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, they likewise fled before Abishai his brother, and entered into the city. Then Joab came to Jerusalem.  And when the Syrians saw that they were put to the worse before Israel, they sent messengers, and drew forth the Syrians that were beyond the river: and Shophach the captain of the host of Hadarezer went before them.  1 Chronicles 19:12-16   

The Syrians had been whipped earlier, and let it happen again.  This goes on endlessly through history with the Syrians against Israel.  Do I need to replay the modern history of Israel to confirm that?  They won’t be back soon in David’s time anyway. 

And it was told David; and he gathered all Israel, and passed over Jordan, and came upon them, and set the battle in array against them. So when David had put the battle in array against the Syrians, they fought with him.  But the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand footmen, and killed Shophach the captain of the host.  And when the servants of Hadarezer saw that they were put to the worse before Israel, they made peace with David, and became his servants: neither would the Syrians help the children of Ammon any more.  1 Chronicles 19:17-19 

Now we who trust the Jewish Messiah, who founded that Christian church in Philadelphia know something about the future of the Ammonites.  We know that some Jews have and will come to their Messiah.  We know that these ancient Christians came to the same hope.  We also know that some will survive in the same city in the end times.  They have a special promise.  Yeshua (Jesus) wrote a letter to them:

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.  Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.  Revelation 3:7-10 

 He that is holy…only Yeshua reached that goal, so he opens your hope.  The city that believes in Yeshua has an open door.  But some Jews will be forced to worship at the feet of some believers in Jordan because you know the love of Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel.  These Ammonites kept faith so they will be kept from the temptation of the world in the end times. 

So, Ishmael, are you really ready to kill Isaac to inherit the place of a few Jews who are confused about their role in life?  They are chosen because God did the choosing, not because they are good.  They were chosen to prove that no one (including you) can be good by their own efforts.  We need help from God.  Be sure that God will save you both…when you become Philadelphia.

Which Philadelphia?  If it is hard to find a true religion, how hard is it to find truth in Wikipedia? 

Alaşehir, in Antiquity and the Middle Ages known as Philadelphia  “city of brotherly love” is a town and district of Manisa Province in the Aegean region of Turkey.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ala%C5%9Fehir

Well, the hope of Christ is for all nationalities, and the Kingdom of God has no borders.  So residents of Philladelphia in Jordan, Turkey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and anywhere else in the world have the same opportunity.  Love is spiritual, not geographic or racial.

DESIGNS

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DESIGNS FOR THE GREAT HOUSE

David knew that he was rich in material and spiritual ways.  He lived in a fine house which was built for him by the King of Lebanon.  Those people were famous for their ships, so their wood working skills were honed to make water tight fittings.  The cedar trees impart that wonderful smell to a new home that also glorifies God who provided such comfort for our life.  David sought to honor his provider for these gifts.

Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD remaineth under curtains.  Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.  1 Chronicles 17:1-2

Nathan gave a prompt response, possibly without lengthy consultation with God.  He had some confidence in David so he had reason to assume that God was with David.  Some parts of our vision may not be part of God’s specific path for us though.  God has a way of speaking for himself.

And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,  Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in:  For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another.  Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?  Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:  And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth.  Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning,  And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee that the LORD will build thee an house.  And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.  I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:  But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.  According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.  1 Chronicles 17:3-15

God has not asked for a house, and has been with David for years of outdoor living.  God tells David that he will plant the flock of Israel where enemies will never move them again.  God promises to build David a house of many descendants.  One of his sons will build God a house and occupy an eternal throne. 

We know that David’s son Solomon built the temple building, and that his throne lasted for generations.  But another son of David was expected to fulfill the eternal reign.  We will watch the families that follow for the genealogy that leads to this messiah.  David may be expecting his son to build the temple, but he is satisfied that God is faithful to finish his work.

And David the king came and sat before the LORD, and said, Who am I, O LORD God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?  And yet this was a small thing in thine eyes, O God; for thou hast also spoken of thy servant’s house for a great while to come, and hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree, O LORD God.  What can David speak more to thee for the honour of thy servant? for thou knowest thy servant.  O LORD, for thy servant’s sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all this greatness, in making known all these great things.  O LORD, there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.  And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his own people, to make thee a name of greatness and terribleness, by driving out nations from before thy people whom thou hast redeemed out of Egypt?  For thy people Israel didst thou make thine own people for ever; and thou, LORD, becamest their God.  Therefore now, LORD, let the thing that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant and concerning his house be established for ever, and do as thou hast said.  Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and let the house of David thy servant be established before thee.  For thou, O my God, hast told thy servant that thou wilt build him an house: therefore thy servant hath found in his heart to pray before thee.  And now, LORD, thou art God, and hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:  Now therefore let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may be before thee for ever: for thou blessest, O LORD, and it shall be blessed for ever. 1 Chronicles 17:16-27

Previously I reminded readers that the Holy Spirit does miracles to draw new believers, and that we transgress to report such things as the work of Satan.  Every Christian should know one work of the Holy Spirit because he strengthens our belief.  He teaches us all in a way we know is special to our own inner heart.  The spirit of God lives in us to testify of our hope in Christ.  No finer temple than the tabernacle of our flesh can be offered to house the ark of the spirit of God.  We are unable to offer any more than that.

David could celebrate the promise of his inheritance because God himself brought the testimony to him.  You have the testimony of the same spirit for your own inheritance of great promise.  This is more than a promise of earthly reign or prosperity; it is for an eternal crown that we will share with David and his son.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  Romans 8:16-18

We may share this revelation and plant hope in others who are like our spiritual sons.  These are the sons who will build the Kingdom of God and join us in his glory.  Can we give honor to God who has transformed us from prisoners to a royal priesthood?

REASONABLE JOY

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CELEBRATION II

David brought the ark to Jerusalem, and prepares for its service.  The people sacrifice to God, and David offers gifts to the people. 

So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God.  And when David had made an end of offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD.  And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine.  And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel:  Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obededom: and Jeiel with psalteries and with harps; but Asaph made a sound with cymbals;  Benaiah also and Jahaziel the priests with trumpets continually before the ark of the covenant of God.  Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the LORD into the hand of Asaph and his brethren. 1 Chronicles 16:1-7

David appoints musicians for the celebration, and then offers his own song.  The music of Israel is lively, and David celebrates life with God.  Even today music is integral to worship among the faithful of Israel.

Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.  Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.  Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.  Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.  Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;  O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.  He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.  Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;  Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac;  And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,  Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance;  When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it.  And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people;  He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,  Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.  Sing unto the LORD, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation.  Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations.  For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods.  For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.  Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.  Give unto the LORD, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength.  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.  Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.  Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth.  Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein.  Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth.  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.  And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.  Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.  1 Chronicles 16:8-36

Remember his marvelous works; all of them.  Don’t just remember the ones which are written of as history, but those ongoing today.  Remember the wonders God has done in our day with our people.  My wife and her family shared many miracles from their walk with God.  The churches before us had demonstrated the power of faith.  I have been moved by the Holy Spirit, miraculously healed, and warned by premonitions.  Many pastors have spoken messages that answered the very questions that hindered my daily life during that week.  Scripture reading has been a light to meet needs as every day unfolds.  My life lessons illuminate the stories of the bible to me as an ongoing living lesson, not dead history.

God has changed the lives of moonshiners, criminals, and liars.  Amazingly he can even humble the proud, who have been unaware of their spiritual poverty.  He wants us to sing and praise the one name by which men can be saved.  He wants them to know the name of their only hope; Jesus, or Yeshua, however you pronounce it.  Peter told Jews about this many centuries later to explain a miracle they had witnessed:

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,  If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  Acts 4:8-12 

David was aware of the coming messiah as are Jews today.  The discussion of prophetic interpretation that points us to Jesus or Yeshua is still ongoing.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_and_Messianic_prophecy#cite_note-19   

I find that some points may be valid for the Jewish challenges to some of the Christian views on specific passages.  But I am unable to challenge my personal encounter with the Holy Spirit in my life experiences.  For skeptics there must remain some haunting hint in the coincidence of these passages of the Old Testament that seem to suggest a type or shadow of  Messiah similar to the life of Jesus:

For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. Psalm 22:16

 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.  Zechariah 12:10

Zechariah is quoting God, as if man had pierced God even as man did pierce Jesus at the cross.  What really matters is that Zechariah promises that God intends to restore Israel, no matter who you think Messiah is.  To oppose God in that declared plan is dangerous.  The bulk of these beliefs are common to a large part of the community of faith; there is testimony favoring the general plan of God. 

Consider the Song of Solomon, which is not discussed in many prophetic debates.  What a coincidence is there to see a king leave his throne in a common disguise to find his love?  And this bride is tending the vineyards neglected by her brethren as the faithful serve the labor of the church?  And a dream like sequence that previews a tribulation that comes if she fails to answer her lovers knock at the door?  The people of ancient Israel had a clear vision of Messiah, and knew the joy of restoration.  When the ark came, it was their symbol of salvation that came with real power.  David had peace and hope.

So he left there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD Asaph and his brethren, to minister before the ark continually, as every day’s work required:  And Obededom with their brethren, threescore and eight; Obededom also the son of Jeduthun and Hosah to be porters:  And Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the LORD in the high place that was at Gibeon,  To offer burnt offerings unto the LORD upon the altar of the burnt offering continually morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the law of the LORD, which he commanded Israel;  And with them Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest that were chosen, who were expressed by name, to give thanks to the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever;  And with them Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those that should make a sound, and with musical instruments of God. And the sons of Jeduthun were porters.  And all the people departed every man to his house: and David returned to bless his house.  1 Chronicles 16:37-43

I am glad to see that Heman is honored too, because a real He-man is not ashamed to sing about God and Yeshua Jesus.

JOY OVERCOMES

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CELEBRATION

David brought the ark to Jerusalem, and prepares for its service.

And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent.  Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the LORD chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever.  And David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the LORD unto his place, which he had prepared for it.  And David assembled the children of Aaron, and the Levites:  Of the sons of Kohath; Uriel the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twenty:  Of the sons of Merari; Asaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred and twenty:  Of the sons of Gershom; Joel the chief and his brethren an hundred and thirty:  Of the sons of Elizaphan; Shemaiah the chief, and his brethren two hundred:  Of the sons of Hebron; Eliel the chief, and his brethren fourscore:  Of the sons of Uzziel; Amminadab the chief, and his brethren an hundred and twelve.  1 Chronicles 15:1-10

The tent is provided, but perhaps not the elaborate tabernacle of Moses.  The appropriate men were appointed to service and carry the ark.

And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab,  And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.  For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.  So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD God of Israel.  And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD.  1 Chronicles 15:11-15

These are preparations for the spiritual ministry of Israel.  They obey God in transporting the ark this time.  An important part of spiritual warfare is music.  This was demonstrated at Jericho, and is provided to this day.  Witness the dark forces in modern music for your proof.  I love Mexican music for the gentle love songs and fiesta celebrations.  What a crime our American drug money has perpetrated on the people of Mexico. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcocorrido

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangsta_rap

And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.  So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari their brethren, Ethan the son of Kushaiah;  And with them their brethren of the second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, the porters.  1 Chronicles 15:16-18

Joy is the banner of hope and life, and it is the trademark of worship.  This is the procession that brings the ark out to its new home.  Music, celebration, dancing and joy are the occasion. 

So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed to sound with cymbals of brass;  And Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with psalteries on Alamoth;  And Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps on the Sheminith to excel.  And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.  And Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark.  And Shebaniah, and Jehoshaphat, and Nethaneel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow with the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obededom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark.  So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the house of Obededom with joy.  1 Chronicles 15:19-25

Everyone had a role in the service and procession.  In obedience there is help from God.  In disobedience there is a warning from God.

AGGRAVATION

And it came to pass, when God helped the Levites that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, that they offered seven bullocks and seven rams.  And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: David also had upon him an ephod of linen.  Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.  And it came to pass, as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, that Michal, the daughter of Saul looking out at a window saw king David dancing and playing: and she despised him in her heart.  1 Chronicles 15:26-29

Notice that God helped the bearers; it was only for them to report for duty and the task was easier.  David is dressed during the celebration, even wearing the outer ephod garment.  His wife is ready with a complaint though.  We remember this from a previous chapter:

Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!  And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.  And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.  Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.  2 Samuel 6:20-23

My bible says that David was not uncovered, but his wife makes a false accusation.  It doesn’t sit well with her husband, and she pays a high price for this outburst.  God does not let the Holy Spirit be mislabeled as Satan.  That is the blasphemy that kills.

Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.  And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.  And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:  And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?  And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.  But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.  Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.  He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.  Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.  And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.  Matthew 12:22-32

David expressed unbounding joy in the Lord for the returning of the ark.  He had no thoughts of women, but one woman had thoughts against him.  This coming from his own family is the offense, but against a godly joy it also offends God.  Jesus gave a gift of healing to encourage, and was accused of working for Satan.  The Holy Spirit was there to be offended for this misrepresentation.  Jesus too was accused by his own people and God would not help those people.

And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?  Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?  And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?  And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.  And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.  Matthew 13:54-58

Today we see people offering hatred for works that God is doing in the world.  They may oppose a preacher for healing, or Jews just for living.  God knows what he is doing and who belongs to him.  God will use some people for healing, prophesy, and for comforting others.  Satan uses some to discourage and accuse the servants of God.  The Holy Spirit of God will not forget blasphemy.  Consider your complaints before you speak against God’s work.

Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. 

TREES OF LIFE

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I AM THE VINE

Kings, leaders, and rulers have ruled on the pyramid model in the past; authority from the top down.  Israel is reforming under a new paradigm of the tree; supportive and nurturing leadership from the roots up to the flower of new faith.  David is a type of the branch of the Lord, Messiah.

And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader.  And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the LORD our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us:  And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul.  And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.  1 Chronicles 13:1-4

David consulted and the people agree that this is right.  David intends to use the opportunity to honor God by consulting him in the way he ordered.  This becomes a great celebration of hope in Israel.

So David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor of Egypt even unto the entering of Hemath, to bring the ark of God from Kirjathjearim.  And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjathjearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the LORD, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it.  And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.  And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.  1 Chronicles 13:5-8

The ark has been gone for a while, and the ways of the Law were forgotten in part.  The ark was never intended to be moved on a cart, but carried by the Levites.  One who is not of the priestly order was endangered by this.

And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.  And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.  And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perezuzza to this day.  And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?  So David brought not the ark home to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite.  And the ark of God remained with the family of Obededom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the house of Obededom, and all that he had.  1 Chronicles 13:9-14

The ark brought no harm to the house as it stayed, so David determined it safe to move later.  But David had other business pending in the meanwhile.

Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and timber of cedars, with masons and carpenters, to build him an house.  And David perceived that the LORD had confirmed him king over Israel, for his kingdom was lifted up on high, because of his people Israel.  And David took more wives at Jerusalem: and David begat more sons and daughters.  Now these are the names of his children which he had in Jerusalem; Shammua, and Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon,  And Ibhar, and Elishua, and Elpalet,  And Nogah, and Nepheg, and Japhia,  And Elishama, and Beeliada, and Eliphalet.  1 Chronicles 14:1-7 

David’s career produced some enemies, but he was a friend to many as well.  The king of the Phoenicians provided Lebanese timbers for his house.  God blessed his household to prosper as king of Israel.  The Philistines were among the enemies who sought to disrupt that peace though.  David was not rash enough to bother his enemies unless he got confirmation from God though. 

WOODEN GODS

And when the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek David. And David heard of it, and went out against them.  And the Philistines came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.  And David enquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? And wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thine hand.  So they came up to Baalperazim; and David smote them there. Then David said, God hath broken in upon mine enemies by mine hand like the breaking forth of waters:  therefore they called the name of that place Baalperazim.  And when they had left their gods there, David gave a commandment, and they were burned with fire.  1 Chronicles 14:8-12 

GOD IN THE WOODS

David had his victory, and he destroyed the wooden gods of his fallen foes.  Still they came again for another lesson.

And the Philistines yet again spread themselves abroad in the valley.  Therefore David enquired again of God; and God said unto him, Go not up after them; turn away from them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.  And it shall be, when thou shalt hear a sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt go out to battle: for God is gone forth before thee to smite the host of the Philistines.  David therefore did as God commanded him: and they smote the host of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gazer.  And the fame of David went out into all lands; and the LORD brought the fear of him upon all nations.  1 Chronicles 14:13-17

David follows the same lesson of asking God for direction, but gets a new answer.  God tells him not to attack, but rather to wait in the trees for a sign to attack.  This is not a strategy of war, but rather a strategy of faith.  Don’t look for God in the logic of the world because he has chosen to be invisible to the faithless.  He doesn’t want the wisdom of man; he wants the foolishness of faith.

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